Miraculous Reunion: Family Dog Survives New Zealand Bush and Fatal Crash

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Family Dog Survives New Zealand Bush and Fatal Crash

Last Updated on June 14, 2023 by Fumipets

Miraculous Reunion: Family Dog Survives New Zealand Bush and Fatal Crash

The Great Escape: Ace’s Incredible Survival Story

Ace, a brave border-collie, remarkably endured 11 days in the untamed South Island bush of New Zealand after fleeing from a tragic car accident that took a young man’s life. This tenacious dog became a beacon of hope, demonstrating an incredible will to survive amidst adversity.

Ace’s dramatic disappearance started with a horrifying event. The dog’s family, which includes Hailey Palmer, her partner Shaydan, and their 7-month-old baby Isla, were traveling through Lewis Pass, near Hanmer Springs, on the King’s Birthday Weekend.

Without warning, an oncoming vehicle collided head-on with their ute. Amidst the shock and chaos, Ace’s collar unlatched, enabling him to escape into the wilderness. This marked the beginning of his 11-day-long, resilient journey in the bush.

The Horrifying Crash: A Family’s Nightmare

In the aftermath of the crash, Hailey Palmer recalls the terrifying moment when she and her family were disoriented, trapped upside down in their vehicle. Amid the panic and confusion, Ace managed to slip away, embarking on his unexpected journey in the wilderness.

Family Dog Survives New Zealand Bush and Fatal Crash

The aftermath was devastating, as the lone occupant of the other car, a young man in his 20s, tragically lost his life. Palmer and her family, however, managed to escape without significant physical injuries. However, the emotional toll of the crash and the disappearance of their beloved pet weighed heavily on them.

The Search for Ace: An Unyielding Effort

In the days that followed, Palmer and her family turned their attention to Ace, who they initially feared might not have survived the crash. Despite this, they kept their hopes alive, leaving food and a jacket carrying their scent near the crash site. Social media platforms were abuzz with posts about Ace, requesting locals to be vigilant.

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The search for Ace caught the eye of Don Schwass, a Search and Rescue operative with two decades of experience in finding missing dogs in the bush. Schwass’s relentless efforts and expertise proved instrumental in Ace’s recovery.

Family Dog Survives New Zealand Bush and Fatal Crash

His dedication was evident, as he tirelessly updated the public about the search through his social media page, even sharing photos of dog droppings to maintain hope and awareness.

The Miraculous Reunion: Ace Returns

On the 11th day, Palmer received an unexpected call from Schwass. Against all odds, Ace had been found and was safe in Schwass’s truck. The news left Palmer in shock, filled with disbelief and immense relief.

Ace’s reunion with his family was a heartwarming scene filled with joy and relief. Ace, brimming with happiness, showered Palmer with cuddles, indicating his joy at being back in familiar arms. A visit to the vet confirmed that Ace had miraculously survived the ordeal with nothing more than some bruising.

Family Dog Survives New Zealand Bush and Fatal Crash

For Schwass, this case reiterated the significance of his work, emphasizing the joy of uniting a lost pet with its family. The love and relief expressed by Ace’s family during their reunion were testimony to the impact pets have on our lives, becoming family members in their own right.

In Conclusion

Ace’s miraculous survival and reunion with his family after a tragic accident is a testament to the indomitable spirit of survival and the strong bond between pets and their families. This story also underscores the importance of dedicated individuals like Don Schwass, who work tirelessly to reunite lost pets with their loved ones.


This article was based on a news report from the New Zealand Herald. The original article can be found here.

Story Source: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/

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